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    A random page flip in the Intel manual got me a list of a hundred or so MSRs specific to Nehalem (page 4065 of the pdf). Interesting bits include the last 16 branch records and all sorts of ways to turn off parts of the cache prefetchers. Another one (page 3002) describes in detail the process of BIOS verification of CPU microcode updates.

    Somehow I think if you picked a random transistor off a 6502, it would be performing a more interesting function.